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“Relax, you're in Tulum”
Review of Posada Lamar

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Posada Lamar
Ranked #59 of 98 Hotels in Tulum
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 22, 2008

Let us start off by saying that we are by no means "hippies". We're not that couple that hitch-hiked from Costa Rica to Venezuela with their beach dog named Marley, sporting nappy dreads and carrying more pot than deoderant. We live in Manhatttan. While we are eco-conscious and adventure-seekers, we enjoy 20 minute showers and the occasional spa treatment. While that hippie couple might love Posada Lamar, the typical resort-goer might find it a little less than what they hoped for. People need to have a healthy understanding of the term "eco-chic" in order to appreciate Posada Lamar. The price may inhibit some people who would truly enjoy the place, but those who can afford it need to be aware that this isn't an all-inclusive resort. Tulum strives to exist in harmony with the lush nature that surrounds it, so in order to preserve that balance, some concessions must be made (and perhaps even some sacrifices of some small comforts). Perhaps we may be a little biased (coming from the twinkling lights of the neighboring apartment complex and the soothing morning sounds of the garbage trucks and car alarms). However, we had a wonderful time at Posada Lamar, and think that as long as you understand what you're actually paying for (to preserve an undevoloped atmosphere that allows you to feel that you're connecting, in some small way, to nature), you'll stop whining ("I can't plug in my iPhone! My clothes are getting wrinkled!") and start relaxing.

We arrived at Posada Lamar in the dark of the night after a very trying day. We pulled up into the dirt road in our rented Jeep Wrangler (this was a great splurge on our vacation, as many of our adventures led us down unpaved roads). The hostess (possibly half of the above-mentioned "hippie" couple) led us to our room, and to be honest, at first we were a little creeped out, walking through sand paths in the "jungle". We arrived at Marfil, our cabin. With no lights, no electricity and a very long day of traveling, we quickly tucked ourselves into the mosquito net, expecting to find something out of an Indiana Jones movie clinging to the net when we awoke. We woke up uncharacteristically early the next morning, drenched in sweat. There were no bugs, but it was stifilingly hot in our cabin. Upon inspection we learned that those slats on the side of the cabin? Yeah, they open, letting in a cool ocean breeze. The somewhat spooky effect of the curtains billowing in the breeze is much preferrable to the sweat lodge effect, trust us. We woke up to watch the sun rise over the ocean. It was amazing. The beach was pristine. It was cool in the morning, but after we returned from an exploratory walk along the water, it had already warmed up. The water is beautiful.

The room is nice and clean. It's small and basic. There really isn't a place to hang anything up. Expect to live somewhat out of your suitcase. Really, though, in Tulum there's nowhere you will go that you will need your perfectly pressed khakis, so this shouldn't present a problem. The shower is enough to rinse the salt off and scrub up a bit. There's not a lot of hot water, so you might want to plan ahead. Also be prepared to send your signifigant other outside the cabin while you're...uh, making your own personal calls to nature.

The breakfast was wonderful. It consisted of fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, wonderful coffee, freshly squeezed juice, and toast with butter and jam. Yes, to some this might seem light, but if you really require bacon, eggs, and an omelette station, then you've driven about 30 miles south of the all-inclusive resorts at Playa del Carmen. Best to turn around now.

The beach is beautiful and pristine. The water is clear and blue. There are many nearby attractions that shouldn't be missed - we loved the biosphere at Sian Ka'an (the Jeep came in very handy here, as the potholes of New York have nothing on that dirt path they call a road), the nearby Tulum ruins are amazing, and we made the drive to Chichen Itza which was worth the trek (a good 3 hours away, 2 if you drive like the locals).

Overall, we had a great time at Posada Lamar. It may not be for everyone. However, with the right attitude it could be the best way to spend a little time off.

Just remember: You're on a beach. You're in Tulum. Relax.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank FrankenMeg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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177 - 183 of 288 reviews

Reviewed April 27, 2008

We stayed at the Marfil Cabana April 10th 2008 and were booked for a 10 day stay for a laid back, relaxed and romantic vacation. On our late arrival we were quite in the dark.... literally, as we entered our cabana with no power. Thankfully, we had our flashlights and were able to get settled. Our very first sleep-in in over 5 years (we have 2 little ones at home) we were awakened to the tapping of a hammer......at 7:10 AM. Upon investigation we were literally right beside the construction of a new development next door. The worker with the hammering was less than 10 feet from our bed. The cabanas, with their thatched roof and open window concept does not allow for you to impede the noise..... so just close your eyes and dream its a coconut knocking against the palm tree. By around 8 AM we decided to get up, cause the workers generator usually started around then.

We soon found out the water pressure in the shower was less than desirable (see pictures) and often took about 5 minutes for the hot water to arrive. But be fast, as the hot water is limited.

The unit itself was cute, but very user unfriendly...... No place to put your clothes except keep them in your suit case, the toilet and shower share the same area and the shower has no curtain so the shower splash covers the toilet area. The linens were OK and the bed was actually quite comfortable and the bug netting was in good shape.

The amenities offered at $140 a night......Hope you are confident in your looks, for the only mirror in the place is 8 inches by 5 inches. and you are provided a full 1 liter of water... for the stay. You only get one towel and only 1 per person, don't ask for any extras, they wont give them to you...... Privacy, well I may sound a little revealing here, but Im trying to get the truth out. You dont have any privacy... ever, the curtains are less than user friendly and flap in the wind often revealing your room and privates. ( I apologize now to anyone I inadvertently flashed)......

You soon find out that at the beach infront of Posada Lamar is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Mexico. With talc like sand, incredible ocean views and water and waves at a perfect temperature and the water quality is outstanding and I personally spent endless hours body surfing and enjoying a beer or 2. The beaches are not crowded and not once were we approached to buy a useless trinket. Simply, hour upon hour of fantastic sunshine with a good book. But, here again... the Posada takes the high potential of their place and disappoints. There is not enough cushions for the outdoor seating and many times people were resting comfortably on the wooden slats of the outdoor furniture. You are provided no beach towels so you end up going to Tulum for the $30.00 towel addition to your suitcase you really could live without. The food at the Posada was basic and Im being polite. We ended up going over to the Posada Margarita about 50 feet away using their way-to-comfy furniture and eating at their incredible outdoor restaurant.

The area is full of wonderful restaurants and recommend to walk the beach and discover for yourself (our favorites were the Maya Tulum at the North end of beach and Zebra's 1 mile South on the beach. Ana y Hose's had a great restaurant too about 0.25 miles South of Posada's.

Overall after much haggling, we ended up staying for 7 days, paying a $60.00 penalty and went to Dreams Tulum for our last 3 nights.

So in summary. Posada Lamar. Yes we were disappointed. I'm a big camper and do allot of canoe tripping and I love it. But I don't DO camping at $140.00 a night or say to my wife "lets be romantic tonight and set up the tent" and unfortunately thats what we got..... an overpriced camping trip. We both felt grungy each day with limited shower facilities and the bed was always full of sand. Your clothes always wrinkled as you dont get even a hanger.

Overall..... if it was $60 a night, I recommend Posada, but for the money I would have paid the extra $40 a night and stayed at Maya Tulum, Ana y Hose or Zalum's. In short, take a pass and look somewhere else. They're is so many more places in the Tulum area worth staying at.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank DaveLevisky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2008

Reservation made no problem. Beach was beautiful. Room beautiful. Water pressure was low, though, and there was no door to the bathroom, only a doorway. Breakfast was cool -- you get a tray to carry to your room. I thought that was great. For what we got, I think it was a bit expensive, but I also think that's the way Tulum beach is.

Also, the signs to Tulum beach are not well marked. Bring a detailed map and a compass. Those things really helped us!

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank freecycle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2008

We decided to stay at Posada Lamar based on reviews posted on TripAdvisor, and it definitely lived up to our expectations. This was our second trip to Tulum, and our first stay at Posada Lamar, and I was very pleased with our choice. (For a comparison to the places we stayed last time–Maya Tulum and Cabanas Ana y Jose, see my comments at the end of this review.)

Posada Lamar is a tiny property with only 6 bungalows. It also has a narrow stretch of beachfront, so the bungalows are fairly tightly packed in. (Other, larger properties have their bungalows spaced out a little more.) If privacy is of utmost importance to you, Posada Lamar may not be the best choice for you. Once you are in your room, you are fairly secluded, but, assuming you have the slats open to let in the breeze (this is a must) the wind will blow back the curtains, and people walking by on the sandy path through the cabanas and down to the beach could see into your room if they were trying to. On the other hand, the upside of this being a tiny property is that there are only a few other guests here, so it's not like people walk by all that often.

Our room (Ambar, upstairs) and all the cabanas are beautiful. This is a lovely, fairly rustic, very romantic place to get away from it all. If the eco-chic vibe of Tulum (no air-conditioning, etc.) appeals to you, Posada Lamar is a great choice. The rooms are fairly spare, but with colorful concrete floors and Mexican tile in the bathrooms. Fresh plants on the nightstand. The grounds are lovely, with bougainvillea and other flowering plants, and well maintained. I saw a man rake the path to the beach each day.

Each cabana has its own private patio with hammock, chairs, and table. This is a wonderful place to eat the continental breakfast they offer and will deliver to your room at the time you request. At first glance, I thought it seemed a little pricey at $15 for two, but after we enjoyed it, I thought it was a great value for the experience. They serve plates of sliced fruit (we had kiwi, bananas, and watermelon) beautifully arranged, toasted French bread with butter and jam, fresh-squeezed OJ, coffee, and yogurt with granola and honey. Tasty, and in my opinion, better than the breakfast next door at Playa KinHa. (But that's worth trying too, especially if you want something more substantial, like eggs or French Toast.)

The staff was friendly, but one of the two women we saw working the front desk didn't speak much English, which could be tricky for some guests.

When we arrived, there was a 1.5 liter bottle of water in our room, which we appreciated. I noticed another review said they received a new bottle of water each day. We did not. In another review, someone complained about the lack of beach towels. I requested extra towels for the beach, expecting more of the standard-size bath towels, but I received two nice, fluffy blue beach towels instead. Not sure why they don't offer these, but they're there when you ask. In some other reviews, there were complaints about bugs. When we turned our lights on at night, some large ants started roaming around, and we saw one moth on our mosquito net.

Posada Lamar is on a primo stretch of beach. North of here, there are some rocky areas that trap the seaweed, but the sand and water here is almost perfect. PL offers a decent array of lounge chairs (though maybe not quite enough for every guest). Other hotels have a nicer beach set-up with palapa style umbrellas and more/nicer lounge chairs, but PL does okay.

Posada Lamar also has a great location vis-a-vis walking distance to good restaurants. Zamas (funky, casual, and festive, live music some nights) is a 15 minute walk north up the beach. Ana y Jose is a 15 minute walk south down the beach. (I’m referring to the restaurant at Cabanas Ana y Jose, not to the Ana y Jose Beach Club, which is a little north of Posada Lamar, and opened more recently.) I would recommend walking to Zamas or Ana y Jose for lunch. For dinner, I definitely recommend Posada Margherita, an Italian place just steps off the beach and two doors north of Posada Lamar. Reservations recommended at Posada Margherita. We just walked over the afternoon we arrived and were able to get a table for that night (though it looked like it was filling up quickly.) At Posada Margherita, you’ll probably be greeted by a Euro-guy with tattoos and a shaved head (he was there when we went five years ago too), who’ll sit down at your table to tell you what’s on the menu that night. Several homemade pasta choices along with fresh seafood. Delicious.

If you're staying along the Tulum beach strip, don't miss the chance to eat at Hechizo, a world-class restaurant all the way down at the end of the strip toward Sian Kaan (within Rancho San Eric). It's definitely in the top 5 percent of my lifetime dining experiences. From PL, we hailed a cab for 40 pesos (about $4 U.S.). The cab was more expensive on the way back--about 100 pesos (about $10 U.S.) because we had to call the cab and pay for it to go both ways.

Hechizo is run by a delightful young couple who obviously love what they are doing, and create a wonderful, personal experience for their guests. I believe Stefan, an Austrian, was formerly the chef at the Four Seasons in Singapore. His wife Hui (born in Singapore, but a long-time resident of San Francisco and Hawaii) greets guests and oversees service in the dining room. There's no written menu because their food sources change daily, so Stefan comes to each table and tells guests what's available that day. Lots of great choices. We loved the salad of watermelon, greens and goat cheese (which they said is a signature dish, and on the menu often). Also very much liked our entrees: scallops and I think my husband had lamb shank. Lots of seafood, but plenty of other choices as well. Main courses in the high $20s range. The setting is nice (loved the grounds more than the dining room) and the service is excellent, but not overly formal. Right now, Hechizo is the number one reason I'd like to return to Tulum. BTW, they don't take credit cards, and they're a long way from the nearest ATM, so bring cash--they take dollars and pesos.

And for a great experience, check out the Mayan Bath at Maya Spa, a little north of Zamas. You get a massage and soak in a wooden tub filled with flowers in a private, white-curtained tent on a rocky cliff overlooking the surf.

Here’s how Posada Lamar compares to the places we stayed during our first visit to Tulum in 2003: Maya Tulum and Ana y Jose. We loved Maya Tulum in 2003, but based on the current TripAdvisor reviews, it sounds like service at Maya Tulum has gone downhill, and the property is not as well-maintained as it was in 2003. Of course, it's been hit by a few hurricanes since then. Also, I would avoid Maya Tulum because there are some big rocky formations on its beach that catch a tragic amount of seaweed, making the beach there tough to enjoy. I didn't love Ana y Jose in 2003, but we went back to eat at the restaurant this time. Looks about the same as it did in 2003. Nice, but overpriced, and much bigger/more crowded than Posada Lamar.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank KatTexas_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2008

We just returned from a five night stay at Posada Lamar. Our cabana (Marfil) was exactly what we were expecting - and hoping for. The room was clean and the bed relatively comfortable. We had very hot water in the shower and the cleaning woman would bring fresh towels, water glasses, and a 1.5L bottle of fresh water each day.

We didn't use the mosquito netting on the bed, in fact, we didn't see a mosquito in our cabana or on the beach. The hammock on the porch takes some getting used to as do the small, fold out chairs on the porch, but there are several comfortable lounge chairs on the beach for use by the customers. There is a light bulb over the bed and one in the shower/bathroom that are available in the evening.

The grounds are well kept and the woman at reception Mirna(?) was very friendly and helpful.

We did take have breakfast from Posada Lamar one day. At 75 pesos/person, it included a jug of coffee, fresh squeezed OJ, some bread with jams and butter, and a small plate of sliced mixed fruit.

As for Tulum, we had a great day touring the Sian Ka'an bioreserve. We went through www.siankaantours.org, they have an office on the main street in Tulum peublo. Much of the money goes to an alliance between four Mayan cooperatives. The tour included a trip through the ruin of Muyil, a walk through the jungle, a boat ride through the large freshwater lagoons, jumping in the water and floating down a canal, a swimming trip to Cenote Escondito, and an authentic mexican lunch.

We also did a day trip to Coba, which was well worth the time. Get there or the Tulum ruins at 8 a.m. when they open. You'll be glad you did when you see the crowds of bus people coming in.

Good breakfast and lunches at Trece Lunas and an excellent italian dinner at Posada Margharite and fresh shrimp at Kin-Ha, both next door to Posada Lamar.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Maineiack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2007

We stayed 2 nights in Tulum, after a week of convential luxury in Cancun and another resort near Playa del Carmen. We rented a car to get down to Tulum, which we used to stop by one of the mega shopping centers on the main highway on the way from Playa, and buy some water, snacks, etc. (I think that "car" may have surely been powered by hamsters, though I didnt confirm this-- it was a hyundai taos or something like that, about the size of my couch, and had a cute sticker on the inside windshield warning of the tendency of the vehicle to tip over at "height speeds" ;-).

We stayed in bungalo Zafiro, which we'd read on this site to be the most romantic. Its elevated, about 10 feet off the ground, so no one walking by on the beach can _easily_ look in and see you.. changing, showering, etc. I say "easily" because lets face it, this aint no luxury hotel; its a bit more rustic-- the bungalow's bathroom area is separated from the sleeping/ living area by a cascading wall, so you and your partner better be ready to share your bathroom sounds.

I wrote "voyage on the ocean" in the title because since its on the shore (about 10 yards from the water) you hear the constant sound of the waves, and if its windy (which it was consistently while we were there) you'll hear and feel the wind.

Asleep at night, my partner and I awoke feeling as if we were on a ship on the ocean. But, we had the advantage of waking up to the first light of the sun as it passed over the horizon. At night, when the clouds broke, we saw a vast array of stars, which was incredible. A great thing about the "Eco-Chic" of Tulum (i.e., some expensive upscale resorts but all in the chill-down, mexico-style of intermittent electricity) is that they've managed to keep the light pollution to a minimum.

The management was fine, though we didnt have many requests-- except an extra set of towels (trust us-- bring your own beach towel). A nice young woman from Brazil cooked us decent breakfasts in that "mexican imitation of what Americans probably like to eat for breakfast" style.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Traveler876er
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2007

We spent 7 nights at Posada Lamar in early December. This was our 2nd stay in the past 9 months. We enjoyed it just as much the 2nd time. We find the location and rooms perfect for us. We have traveled many places in the world and have stayed in all types of accomodations, Four Seasons to out of the way places like Posada Lamar and enjoy it all. You must go to Tulum with the idea that you are in for an adventure and roll with what may come your way. I was sorry to see the past 2 reviews with the negativity. It's too bad they had less than positive experiences at Posada Lamar.

We have spent 12 nights there over the past 9 months and have had nothing but a positive experience. On this trip, we had hot water problems the first day (lack of hot water). I alerted Mirna (who is there most days in reception) and within 30 minutes the problem was resolved. Hot, hot water was abundant the rest of the trip. Also, for those staying at Posada Lamar in the future, if you want to charge anything, they have an outlet you can use in the reception area. Just ask and they will let you plug in your cell phone, dvd player, camera, etc. Everyone has a right to their opinion and different experiences but ours has been very good with Lamar and we highly recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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4  Thank jj28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Posada Lamar

Address: Carretera Tulum-Boca Palia Km 6, Tulum 77786, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#20 Romantic Hotel in Tulum
#22 Family Hotel in Tulum
#37 On the Beach Hotel in Tulum
Price Range: $174 - $250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Posada Lamar 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
Posada Lamar Tulum
Posada Lamar Hotel Tulum

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